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We are delighted to send you our 2nd Dynamo Maths Newsletter.

Our plan is to offer support to schools to remove learning barriers from children with dyscalculia. We wish to engage with you by sharing current research in the field of maths difficulties as well as sharing news about developments within our product range.

We would also love to receive your feedback and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about dyscalculia or about our on-line assessment and intervention which may help your pupils make progress.



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Dynamo Maths - Supporting Dyscalculia  
  February 2016 Issue 2  

Dear SENCo,

As busy SENCos, it is vital in our job role to find effective, evidence-based interventions which are matched to the differences in the brains of our pupils. As mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter, we have the power to influence the quality of the experiences we provide to our children. Equally important, is the need to consider the ease with which an intervention can be delivered (and progress measured) by our busy TAs. Dynamo Maths has certainly answered that need with a number of pupils in my school and the bringing together of Dynamo Maths and the Dynamo Profiler will, undoubtedly, make the intervention even more user-friendly.

I whole-heartedly agree with the recent small study conducted at Oxford University by Ann Dowker and Esmeralda Zefara, who state that, “Failure to acquire basic mathematical skills may have serious life-long consequences, thus it is important to find ways of enabling children with Maths Learning Difficulties to acquire numeracy skills.”

Their study involved a group of children in Year 3 identified by their teachers as struggling with mathematics. The children were assessed using the Dynamo Profiler assessment, which provided a profile of strengths and weaknesses in important components of mathematics. Half of the children initially acted as the control group, the other half were given the Dynamo Maths Intervention for 8 weeks. Re-assessment using the same Dynamo Profiler assessment showed that the children using the on-line activities, lesson plans and worksheets had made more progress than the control group. Dowker and Zefara concluded “that the aspects that contribute to the effectiveness of the Dynamo Maths programme seem to include its scaffolding approach, its multi-sensory materials and tasks, and its digital activities."

In my school, as well as mathematical progress, we also saw a growth in self-confidence in class mathematics and greater enthusiasm to tackle mathematical tasks. We should all remember that mathematics is a cumulative subject and time spent on acquiring the basic maths skills which elude some of our pupils is never wasted.

We should all remember that mathematics is a cumulative subject and time spent on acquiring the basic maths skills which elude some of our pupils is never wasted.

Why not decide today to set a date to receive in-house training on supporting children with complex maths difficulties? You can call Dynamo Maths now on 0203 1132066 for a free quote.

Lastly, my congratulations to Dynamo Maths for being shortlisted as finalists for the prestigious ERA Award.

Kind regards,


PS. We invite you to let us know where your pupils are not making progress in maths. Send your specific questions or samples of work to support@dynamomaths.co.uk Experts will reply to you and some points will be discussed in subsequent newsletters with ideas to help areas of concern.


The rationale behind Dynamo Maths

The Dynamo Numeracy Intervention was introduced formally into schools in 2007 with many teachers repeatedly requesting support for a small group of children with severe maths difficulties and desperate to improve their outcomes. The intervention has been supported with converging evidence from research into neuroscience, early childhood development and classroom practice.

Who does the intervention help?
Dynamo Maths targets, in particular, those children on the SEN register, receiving intervention but not making progress. It is used widely by primary schools, special needs schools and, also, some secondary schools.

What are the components of Dynamo Maths?
There are two core components:
1. Assessment - Dynamo assessment
2. Intervention –Dynamo intervention

The intervention uses agraduated and cyclic approach ensuring that the assessment informs the intervention.

The Dynamo Profiler detects developmental dyscalculia and outputs an Intervention Plan that is supported by Dynamo Maths to close the gap in a purposeful way.


What does “development” mean within the context of dyscalculia?


Developmental dyscalculia describes a difficulty with acquiring arithmetic skills.

The rate of a child’s development varies from one individual to another. The domains of development (cognitive, social, emotional and physical) are intertwined in early childhood and brain development begins well before birth to build the foundations upon which skills later “emerge” and “mature”. The word developmental means it can be developed, changed and repositioned. Our genes and environment are both important in brain development, and whilst we can do very little to modify our genes, we have the power to influence the quality of the experiences we provide to our children. Intensive interactive experiences can change the neural connections of the brain. This ability to change and adapt in response to the environment demonstrates the brain’s plasticity. Developmental dyscalculia can therefore be remediated through purposeful experiences which enable children to make gains far greater than previously thought possible and to climb the developmental ladder.

The image above illustrates brain maturation from ages 5 to 20. The bluer the image, the more mature that part of the cortex is. (i.e., the more grey matter has been replaced with white matter) Source: ‘How children develop’ by Siegler, DeLoache, Eisenberg.


Bringing Dynamo Maths and Dynamo Profiler together

The graduated approach from assessment to intervention is what makes Dynamo such a successful tool for teachers across the globe. It is therefore natural that, in early 2016, the Dynamo Maths assessment and Dynamo intervention will be merged into one website for further ease of use. This move has come about at the suggestion of many SENCos, Inclusion Managers and TA’s who implement the programme in schools.

The Dynamo assessment and Dynamo intervention will now be collectively identified as Dynamo Maths. Teachers will be given a common login between the two components so that they can move more fluidly between the assessment and intervention.

Natalie Kerslake has just completed her MA in dyscalculia and we are sure her research will be of interest to many SENCos. Natalie writes:

This study looked at the current knowledge of teachers and teaching assistants, to establish how learners with dyscalculia are supported within the classroom in one primary school. The study found that 10 out of 16 teachers and teaching assistants had little or no knowledge of dyscalculia including how to identify and support these learners within the classroom. More training and awareness needs to be provided to teachers and teaching assistants, both within school and also through Initial Teacher Education (ITE) providers, to ensure that learners with dyscalculia can be supported effectively. This also includes knowledge of different strategies to identify and support these learners, through intervention programmes such as Dynamo Maths.

TA Conference in Nottingham

Last November, Dynamo Maths was invited to speak at the TA Conference in Nottingham. It’s fair to say it was a huge success as TA’s were inspired and left with a greater knowledge and understanding of dyscalculia. Many TA’s were relieved to hear that they could now access an intervention to support children who are not making age-appropriate progress.

SEN CPD is a priority for interventionists.


Leeds Primary and Secondary SEN Conference, 20 May 2016 at Elland Road, 26 May 2016 at Headingley Experience

The AUTISM Show, 17-18 June 2016, Excel, London

Learning Works Conference, 29 June 2016, Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London

TES SEN Show, 7- 8 October 2016, Business Design Centre, London


“Dynamo Maths has been excellent with our SEN pupils. In one year a pupil with both dyscalculia and dyslexia has doubled his maths results. We have rolled the programme out to other children at the school and it is proving popular with pupils, teachers and their parents.”

Yvette Unsworth, Head of Learning Support and Extension at Barrow Hills School

“One of the great things about the assessment is that it indicates whether pupils simply have gaps in their knowledge, a developmental delay where maths and number sense are concerned, or whether they have underlying dyscalculic tendencies– normally getting this kind of insight is very difficult to obtain unless you bring in a dyscalculia specialist. Two TA’s, Mrs Gudgeon and Mrs Newton, run the intervention for me: ‘All 12 children in the evaluation have made progress, and, crucially, their attitude to maths has changed in class. One child, who wouldn’t do maths before, boasted: “I’m an expert at this” – which is lovely. One of the things pupils particularly like is instantly being able to see where they’ve made progress.’” Continue reading here

Dawn Bradshaw, SENCo at Huntingtower Community Primary Academy


Our ever-growing community can now be found on social media. Join us by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook!

We are giving away a FREE copy of the newly released ‘A Practical SEND Guide to Support Numeracy in Primary Schools’ by Pearl Barnes, Ex-President of NASEN, to the first 100 people who check into our Facebook page by leaving a visitor post.



Sign up to our FREE online training session with our dyscalculia specialist.
In the past, many SENCo’s and other specialist teachers have found this to be an opportune moment to discuss or ask any specific questions about their learners who are struggling with maths.

To request a FREE Webinar: www.dynamomaths.co.uk


Dynamo Maths and Dynamo Profiler are published and licensed by Jelly James Publishing Ltd
www.dynamomaths.co.uk and www.dynamoprofiler.co.uk
Tel: 0203 113 2066

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